Praying for the Whole World

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve Pageant

Here's a photo taken at the end of this year's Christmas Eve Pageant.  During the whole pageant this little guy in the aisle seemed to be totally enthralled with what was going on.

In this photo, I can't help but wonder what is going on in his young mind as he watches.  Whatever it is, it's got to be good.  And, of course, this is a big part of what Christmas is all about - the wonder and the mystery.

For more Pageant photos, go to the Church website photo gallery page, or click here.

Posted by Hank

For more Pageant photos, click here.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Outdoor Service

Today's outdoor service, led by Jennifer Moorlag, highlighted Whitehorse United Church's support of Braeburn Camp.  A beautiful sunny day, too.

And a picnic on the lawn.  Thanks to all who brought food, and thanks to Joy Wickett for preparing the hot dogs and coordinating the food. Great fun, fellowship, and worship.

Posted by Hank

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

United Church of Canada - 90th Birthday

Today is the 90th birthday of the United Church of Canada, and Whitehorse United Church hosted a birthday party on the front lawn of the church.

There were balloons, fruit drinks, muffins and rice crispy hearts by Joy Wickett.

A bit of a windy day, it was. So when I went to take a photo of Rev. Bev with the balloons, they blew into her face.

Here's a pic where the balloons are not in her face, and folks enjoying the party.


Posted by Hank

Monday, May 18, 2015

Today's Lesson

A drunk walks into a church ....

I know, it sounds like the start of a bad joke.

But yesterday at our worship service, just before the choir was to sing the anthem, a very inebriated man walked in and sat at the back of the sanctuary.

During the singing of a very powerful anthem, those of us in the choir could see the man was moved by the singing when he threw a triumphant fist high into the air, as if to say "Yes!!".

The sermon that followed was on the theme of inclusiveness, focusing on the words within the United Church of Canada crest, "Ut omnes unum sint", "That all may be one". The challenge of living this call of inclusiveness was brought into stark reality when the inebriated man mumbled incoherently at periodic intervals during the sermon. Toward the end of the sermon, the man abruptly stood up and said some words that were quite disjointed and unintelligible, and then ended by shouting in a clear voice,

"I love you, and there is f***-all you can do about it!"  He then left.

When the shock of the profanity settled a bit, one of our choir members leaned over and whispered,

"Isn't that kind of what God says?"

Reverend Bev did a great job, asking us to join her in a short prayer to think about God's challenging call to be inclusive. At the end of the sermon Barry Kitchen softly played "Draw the Circle Wide" as we meditated on the sermon and what happened.

Note to Bev: New sermon title - I Love You, And There's Nothing You Can Do About It.

For those who, like me, were distracted from hearing the full message of the sermon, you can hear the audio by clicking here.

Posted by Hank

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Mayday Comfort Bird

I think it was early October when we had a really heavy snowfall. You know, that wet, heavy snow so common in southern Canada, but quite rare in the Yukon. Anyway, we had such an overnight snow on the trees before the leaves had dropped off.  The effect it had was to weigh down the branches to the breaking point.

In front of our church we have a beautiful mayday tree (Asian bird cherry – Prunus padus var. commutata). When it's in bloom, it is a truly awesome sight. Sadly, one of the large limbs of the tree was so heavily weighed down by the snow that it broke off.  

Harris Cox, Fred Smith and Hank Moorlag cut the broken limb off and pulled another couple of limbs together with ratchet straps because they had split as well.  They hauled away the branches from the broken limb and then salvaged the larger pieces.  Hank took them home and cut them up on the bandsaw into 2" X 2" blocks, about 12" long. 

Since then, they've been drying in Hank's shed.  Now they are dry enough to work with and carve comfort birds. Comfort birds are small wooden birds intended to be held in the hand to bring comfort to those who are ill or are going through difficult times.

So, here is a photo of the damaged tree with an insert of the first comfort bird Hank carved from the broken limb.

Perhaps an appropriate resurrection story for today - Easter Sunday.

Posted by Hank

The Risen Lord

Jesus Christ is risen today, hallelujah!
Our triumphant holy day, hallelujah!
Who did once upon the cross, hallelujah!
Suffer to redeem our loss, hallelujah!

Hymn 155 Voices United
Words & Music: Lyra Davidica 1708

Easter Service

We were blessed with a truly joyous Easter celebration at today's service.

Here are a couple of photos by Harris Cox:

The Aurora Bells

Children singing "Everybody Gets Some"

Easter Greeting from Dr. Martin Rumscheidt

Dr. Martin Rumscheidt was with us at Whitehorse United during Bev's sabbatical, leading worship services and engaging us in workshops.  He sends this Easter greeting from his home in New England:

My Dear Friends, Beloved Sisters and Brothers.

Peace be with you from the One who raised Jesus from the dead; may the grace which is beyond what we may grasp bless you. I miss you! I miss you a lot! I miss you every day! When is Bev's next study leave?

On this Easter Sunday my thoughts are with you especially as I join in the Hallelujahs we raise to God today. With you - in your singing and speaking, in your listening to the music Barry, Derek and the choir offer to God, in your hearing of the Scriptures and the sermon - I rejoice in the good but mysterious news of the Risen One. And I accompany you - albeit in spirit and not, however much I wished it, in body - on your walk with Jesus and with one another in the ministry to which you have been called in Whitehorse, in the beautiful valley of the Yukon River, below Grey Mountain, and among God's beloved First Nations peoples. In spirit, take me with you.

I want to thank you once again for all the gifts you gave me, the opportunities you offered me, and for the stunning beauty of your countryside in which you wrapped it all up. I also thank you for allowing me to venture into your high schools and your college, the side trips to CBC North and the Whitehorse papers. I derived really deep satisfaction in working with you in our workshops; my old professor's heart leapt with joy over the opportunity to be engaged in those intense conversations we had together around the table and how you challenged me. It was wonderful and truly unique.

So, as I greet you fondly from my heart, let me conclude with my question earlier: When is Bev's next study leave? Or does she have to leave at all so that I may return rejoicing?

As aye and indeed affectionately,


ps: Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday

O Sacred Head Sore Wounded

O sacred head sore wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded with thorns thine only crown;
how art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn;
how does that visage languish, which once was bright as morn.

Thy grief and bitter passion were all for sinners' gain,
mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the cruel pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Saviour, turn not from me thy face;
but look on me with favour, and grant to me thy grace.

What language shall I borrow to thank thee dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever, and, should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never, outlive my love to thee.

Be near when I am dying, O show thy cross to me,
and for my succour flying, come, Lord, to set me free.
These eyes, new faith receiving, from thee shall not remove,
for all who die believing, die safely through thy love.

Voices United #145
Words: Paul Geerhardt 1656, translated by James Waldell Alexander 1830
Music: Hans Leo Hassler 1601, Harmony by Johann Sebastian Bach 1729

Monday, March 30, 2015

Hooray !!! Bev Is Back.

Dateline: Whitehorse, Yukon - March 30, 2014

The Reverend Beverly C.S. Brazier returned to Whitehorse today after a (too long, but well-earned) three months sabbatical.

A welcoming committee (pretty much everyone who could come) greeted her as she stepped off the plane. There were cheers, and singing from the Hallelujah Chorus. Folks were there with hats, balloons, and a big 'Welcome Home' banner.

She was surprised, but delighted.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday, March 8, 2015

What a wonderful service this morning, led by Beth Roberts and Jennifer Moorlag. The choir's anthem was Mozart's 'Ave Verum Corpus' and Barry Kitchen's postlude was a lovely piece by Bach.

Here are some links for the audio recordings:
 Anthem by the Choir
 Sermon by Jennifer
 Postlude  by Barry

And a couple of photos:

Beth Roberts during 'Learning Together'

Jennifer delivering the Sermon